In a summary provided by the Malden Superintendent's Office, Ken Cook abbreviated the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting held on October 16.
That summary is provided below:
During public comment a thank you card to the Board of Education from Carolyn Bedwell was read and I thanked the staff that showed appreciation to me and Mr. Wilson for boss's day.
The Board viewed the web update from the Missouri School Boards Association. The update discussed the upcoming vote for the tobacco tax, common core state standards and a review of the MSBA Annual Conference. Director Lentz and I were both seen in the video from the annual conference.
Friday Backpack Program
The Senior Beta Club is sponsoring the Friday Backpack Program through the Southeast Missouri Food Bank as a service project. This program helps bridge the weekend gap of meals when school meals are not available for needy families. Beta Club members Sarah Beth Wilson, Haley Bullock and Darren Green presented the program to the Board of Education. They informed the Board of Education that it costs $320 to feed each family every weekend for a year. Donations can be placed directly to the Beta Club or through the Food Bank website at www.semofoodbank.org.
Cigarette Tax Update
The upcoming vote on Proposition B, or better known as the 'Cigarette Tax' was discussed by the Board of Education. If passed it is anticipated that it would provide approximately $150 per student or about $150,000 in additional revenue to the Malden R-I School District to be distributed outside of the foundation formula. This money must be spent on activities that support direct instruction to students.
Property Tax Issue Update
Director Green has regularly tried to contact the county regarding this situation and last week, a letter was sent from the school district requesting to be placed on the agenda of the next County Commission meeting. The district was informed that they wanted to wait until all parties could be present at the meeting, including a representative from the Campbell School District, the county assessor and the prosecuting attorney. At this time we continue to await a response.
MSBA Conference Review
Members who attended the MSBA Annual Conference shared some of the information that they learned during the conference. Comments focused on implementation of Common Core Standards and MSIP 5. Director Cornman was complimentary of the progress that Malden is making toward implementation of Common Core Standards.
I presented the Board of Education with the option to declare Bus #1 surplus property due to the projected cost of repairs to the engine of the bus. Director Lancaster suggested that the bus be taken to another mechanic and have it assessed to determine exactly what is the mechanical problem with the bus is and the actual cost of repairs before declaring it surplus property. Everyone agreed and this item will be reviewed by the Board next month.
The repairs to Bus #13 which was involved in an accident earlier in the school year was discussed. The Board was informed that the Farmers Insurance adjuster indicated that the bus may be totaled due to the mileage and year model of the bus. The county prosecuting attorney's office is waiting to see what insurance pays for as the owner of the vehicle will be responsible for any difference that insurance does not pay.
(additional note: following the Board of Education meeting, Farmers Insurance agreed to a settlement that completely covers the repairs to the bus)
Athletic Policy Change
I recommended to the Board of Education that we amend our lettering portion of our athletic policy. This change would allow for a player who is injured or becomes ill during the season to letter in the sport if the player would have lettered had he/she not become injured or sick. Another change would allow a student to letter if he/she has played a sport all four years, but did not meet the 60% of varsity contests requirement. And a final change would allow for a player whose position on the team prevents him/her from participating in 60% of the events. The Board of Education approved the changes as recommended.
A concern was expressed by the Board regarding the school mascot and how it is used in relation to female and male athletes and also how it is used with Jr. High and younger athletes in regard to Title IX regulations. After discussion, the Board voted that Green Wave will be used for all sports teams at all ages, that Lady Wave will no longer be used and gender will be designated as women's or men's sports and uniforms will be revised through the normal district rotation schedule.
Resident/Non-resident Agreement with Risco
The Board reviewed the Resident/Non-resident agreement with Risco. This agreement was entered into several years ago to clean up a situation where students from both districts were attending the other district's school. The current agreement has only one student remaining and when this student graduates, the agreement will come to an end. The Board approved the agreement as presented.
A contract with Pepsi for an electronic display sign was brought up for discussion. This contract, which was originally discussed last summer, provides for an electronic display sign to be donated to the district in exchange for a 15 year exclusive product sales through the concession stands and vending machines. The current contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Board of Education secretary Jessica Carpenter reported that the district annually spends in excess of $15,000 per year on product sold through the concession stands. After discussion, the Board instructed me to contact Pepsi to see if we could negotiate a ten year contract.
Declare Surplus Property
The Board of Education was supplied with a list of equipment and other items that are in storage and are no longer needed by the district to be declared surplus property. Recently the City of Malden contacted the school district and indicated that they are planning a surplus auction and wanted to know if the district wanted to participate. The Board of Education approved the list as presented.
Safe Routes to School Grant
The Board of Education was updated on the Safe Routes to School grant that the City of Malden was working on in conjunction with our school district. The grant calls for the installation of sidewalks around the perimeter of the elementary and high school campus if approved.
Letter to City
The Board of Education approved a letter to be issued to the City of Malden requesting no parking signs on the north side of Broadwater Road from the intersection of Stokelan and Broadwater Road to Alberta Street adjacent to the baseball/softball complex. The letter also requested that the city install stop signs at the intersection of Towery and Broadwater Road at the entrance to the baseball/softball complex to improve safety.
Final Approval on HVAC System
I reported to the Board of Education that the installation of the new HVAC system in the upper elementary is complete and although the main system is functioning normally, the outside unit that supplies fresh air to the building is not working properly at this time. The district is currently holding 10% retainage on the project until accepted as complete by the Board of Education. Since all work has been completed and all equipment has been installed, I recommended to the Board that we release all of the retainage except for $10,000 which will be held until the outside air unit is functioning normally. The Board approved the release of retainage as recommended.
During the principal's report Director Green asked that information, other than sports information about school, be put out on text alerts and district social media in order to maximize social media for the benefit of our kids. Currently the district has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
I reported that the Community Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the Malden Ministerial Alliance will be held in the high school commons this year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
I reported our current elementary enrollment is 564 and high school enrollment is 451 for a total of 1015. At this time K-8 attendance is 96.9% and 9-12 attendance is 94.53%. I continue to be somewhat concerned with our grades 9-12 attendance. Both buildings are working hard to rein in absences and keep in contact with parents. I feel that we will see the high school attendance number improve with the things we have in place and it will take a semester of data before we know for sure.
I informed the Board that due to the implementation of the NCLB Waiver, the state is requiring all school districts to implement a new evaluation system next school year. I am trying to take a very proactive approach to this requirement because I do not want to have an evaluation program for the sake of having one, I want one that works. DESE is requiring that schools attend a meeting on the new system which we will attend on November 6 in Cape Girardeau. Along with the administrative team, the CTA has selected two teachers to attend with us. What I would like to do next is to create a committee with two Board of Education members, four administrators and four teachers, two of them from each campus, to develop a recommendation to the Board of Education. There are choices in teacher evaluations from the DESE model, to a University of Missouri Model and using the Marzano model. Of course we may create our own and get it approved by the state. I want this committee to explore all options and make a recommendation that is in the best interest of the district as a whole. In addition, we will also be looking at a new superintendent and principal evaluation tool that DESE is requiring. Director Green appointed Director Lentz and Director Cornman to the committee.
Malden has been selected to host the basketball district tournament the next two years. It is always a pleasure to showcase our school and district tournaments are a great opportunity. We just hosted the Bootheel Conference Volleyball Tournament and are also hosting the district volleyball tournament and Malden is seeded first.
Last month Kennett School District presented the conference with a letter asking to be removed from the conference to enter the SEMO conference in all sports. This month Campbell School District petitioned to be removed from the Tri-County Conference and be admitted to the Bootheel Conference. This was approved by both conferences. We may have another school district decide to do the same and it will be considered next month by the conferences.